Until recently Velocys was known as Oxford Catalyst Group, a name that perhaps better describes the technology behind the company. Velocys has developed a small-scale modular plant that can be deployed in remote locations where stranded natural gas or waste biomass can be found. Velocys uses the conventional steam reforming and Fischer Tropsch processes, but has added a twist it calls ‘microchannel reactors’ where it deploys a proprietary catalytic effect. The microchannels, with reduced dimensions, intensify the chemical reactions and deliver greater efficiencies than conventional Fischer Tropsh and steam reforming processes.
Velocys shares traded down on news of the Pinto Energy acquisition. Perhaps investors would rather see the company report its first profits. Still investors, even those who have not considered a London Exchange listed company, should take note of VLS.L. There is some concern about the benefits of switching to natural gas from an environmental standpoint. Make no mistake about it, natural gas is still a fossil fuel. However, compared to coal it has some merits. What is more gas-to-liquids could serve as a valuable interim fuel source for U.S. transportation transitions away foreign oil and gas to electric or another more environmentally friendly fuel source. What is more, Velocys technology does help clean up one of the dirtier elements of the oil and gas industry - burning off waste gases into the atmosphere.